Project statement • This collaborative project across Russia and Europe brings together curators from the underground audiovisual, sound art and experimental music scenes, projecting the possibilities of those liminal worlds into the exhibition space.

We bring together this international scene to reveal and amplify links and connections between Russia and Europe, and all the hubs of science, technology, and expression.
Curatorial statement 2021 • We are in the moment (a quantum level state of crisis), where human and technology merge in fragile and unpredictable ways. Artists can recede into the background and embrace their own changeable post-human state, taking on new forms, virtual presence, and reimagined selves. If perceived time slows, technologies in the hands of creative invention can accelerate it – allowing artists to evolve faster than the catastrophes they face.

Electronic media art has already passed through phases of self- aggrandizing novelty, self-referential irony, and even retromania. But now these media fuse with the cultural language, a vehicle to impact change in the larger society.

The new shapes are liquid, not flat; connected, not isolating.

”Superfluidity” by Peter Kirn
Gleb Glonti

project curator

Curator and General Producer at Kotä and EMA Expo.

Kotä is a company developing projects in the field of art, also a music imprint, and a sound research laboratory;

Since 2011, Kotä has been developing innovative projects in the field of sound, composition, and digital art, organizing exhibitions, educational programs, and workshops and music events in various cities of Russia and Europe.

Kotä is the curatorial and organizational partner of EMA Expo. The EMA Expo program is dedicated year after year to the modern interdisciplinary dialogue of the arts and current topics of the social agenda.

Peter Kirn

exhibition сurator

Independent curator and artist who has collaborated with CTM, MUTEK, and SÓNAR+D and created platforms for interdisciplinary exchange for artists (like warriors workshops and hacklabs).

Anna Titovets

public program сurator

Media artist, digital and new media curator. Founder and program director of Plums Fest, a festival of audiovisual experiments and media art, former curator of Pixels Fest (Yekaterinburg), invited curator of the Ars Electronica festival (Austria, Linz), co-curator of the Polytech festival of science, art, and technology and many other festivals, educational programs, and exhibitions in Russia and Europe. Currently, she is working as a curator and creative director on the new Museum of Cryptography.

Boris Magrini

Swiss program curator

Boris Magrini (PhD) is curator at HeK Basel (Switzerland). He organises exhibitions that foster transdisciplinary dialogues between the arts and the sciences. He regularly publishes on contemporary and media art in magazines, books and exhibition catalogues.

Photo: Karin Salathé
Boris Shershenkov

Electriflora. Samples: SPb 01-04

«Electriflora» is the research project that examines the emergence and growth of metabiological lifeforms such as wired connections complexes.Like plants, their growth is invisible to the human eye. But in just two centuries wires from small sprouts that have hatched in physics laboratories have grown into complex conductive structures entwining entire cities. Electriflora has become an integral part of modern technobiocenoses providing energy and information to the countless number of electronic organisms, without which we already can’t imagine our everyday life.

Human activity is the fundamental biological and evolutionary force for these lifeforms. However, the electriflora genome laid by scientific and technological development determines the commonality and differences of non-biological organisms only partially. Studying the morphological features of various wire complexes, we can observe a clear geographical distribution of various species which are formed under the influence of the metaclimate of economic conditions, social and political processes.

Installation «Electriflora Samples: S-Pb 01-04» represents botanical samples of the wild urban electriflora of St. Petersburg, the typical symbiotic structures in which invasive species coexist on equal terms with endemic and relict forms.

The manifestations of the vital activity of such inorganic meta-organisms are beyond the limits of human perception. However, they can be detected by means of various audio-technical devices, which serve as translators from the technogenic language of electromagnetic oscillations. Special detectors were used for examining the samples in the field. The records from the detectors then were translated to a certain frequency in the FM radio range. You can hear the voices of electriflora using the radios in the installation as well as using your own radio receivers such as radios, telephones, smartphones or audio players.

Boris Shershenkov (b. 1990, Vladivostok, Russia) - sound artist, PhD (candidate of technical sciences) and musical instrument designer. Focusing on projects that develop new methodologies in technological and sound art, he investigates the relationship between human and technology combining modern techniques with media archaeological research. Curator of concert programs, exhibitions and educational projects in the field of experimental music and sound art. As a musician, he is actively working in the areas of live electronics and electroacoustic improvisation.
Currently lives and works in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Goethe Institut / Tactical Tech

Data CTRL Centre

Data CTRL Centre is a Goethe-Institut project dedicated to the topic of media literacy and data protection in the internet. It features an online and an offline exhibition curated by Tactical Tech (Berlin, Germany), expanded to include works chosen by the well-known Kyiv science media platform Kunsht. The overall project includes a comprehensive parallel program and a hackathon.

The objective of the exhibition is to enlighten visitors regarding possibilities for data protection and thus return control over their personal data to them. Data CTRL Centre uses interactive exhibits to illustrate why it is so important in a digitalized world to develop ways to deal with media consciously and critically and to take on responsibility for our own personal data in the internet.

Humans are the most vulnerable element in the internet; without being aware of this fact, we lose more and more control over our privacy every day. But this is easy to change: With just a few steps and a few instruments we are capable of protecting ourselves and regaining control over our personal data.

The exhibition focuses on the new Glass Room: Misinformation Edition by Tactical Tech, whose defined mission is to inspire change in the way we handle our personal data, privacy and information. Glass Room: Misinformation Edition expands on the Community Edition of the Glass Room, which has already reached around 200,000 people in libraries, at conferences and at festivals around the world.

Data CTRL Centre also features works by artists who employ Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, facial recognition and other digital tools. Journey through all these works online and offline, learn more about how social media and the Web have changed the way we read information and react to it, and take our Data Detox Kit with you for free and regain the feeling that everything is once again under CTRL!

Sara Culmann

Agency of Nowhen

The Agency of Nowhen is an online platform that reproduces the logic of subscription-based content services that publish multimedia episodes. The project explores various aspects of the concept of bias as an irresistible phenomenon that distorts cognitive perception of information and introduces imbalances into knowledge.

Sara Culmann (1981, Kirovsk) is a contemporary artist who works primarily with screen media.

In her work Sara Culmann explores the semantics and contradictory interpretations of such concepts as progress, digital technology, scientific discovery, and the evolution of knowledge. Often referring to cultural clichés and historical representations, the artist views the contemporary as an iconographic field, a vocabulary of new signs.

Anna Titovets Intektra

Imperfect Simulations

Sound landscape: Dmitriy Vikhornov, Anna Titovets

"I don't have time" is a frequent statement of the modern age. But we spend one third of our lives asleep. And out of approximately 23 years asleep, about 8 years we spend dreaming.

The topic of time perception in the digital age and our consciousness while we are sleeping are in focus in this artistic investigation. Visual imagery generated by our brain during sleep has long been a topic of persistent speculation, but due to its nature it is still unclear what is the exact function of dreams. Within the audiovisual research the artist relies on several important theories and approaches on dream decoding. First is the Threat Simulation Theory (TST), originally developed by cognitive neuroscientist Antti Revonsuo. According to this theory, dream consciousness is an evolutionary developed biological simulation of perceptual world, specialized on simulations of threatening scenarios in order to accustom us to similar situations in reality. In other words one can see dreaming as a kind of psychological brain-trainer.

There are several threatening themes and events which are proved to be most common in the sleeping realm and which were taken as a basis for further artistic interpretation. They are - physical aggression, interpersonal and interspecies conflicts, disasters, feelings of helplessness or failure. The author has made these themes the starting point of a speculative artistic interpretation questioning what could be the exact threatening situations that we encounter in the digital age in the context of ubiquitous digitalization, technological development and related technophobias, as well as the threats associated with the global changes brought by the Anthropocene era. The second chapter of the audiovisual installation utilises recent attempts of the Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery during Sleep. Machine learning–based analysis is able to decode stimuli and patterns of brain activity during sleep and associate them with specific visual images. The process of guessing the exact visual information from the brain impulses by the machine has been compared to interpretations from dream explainers, or "dream books". Naive and folkloric explanations of these books are shown in parallel to the first experiments of dream decoding by means of artificial intelligence.

Another subject of the installation is the concept of time and temporality in the digital age, as well as the changes in the sense of time in the world of social networks, gadgetization and technological acceleration. Reflections on the changes in the perception of the non-linearity of time, shifts of biological clocks, changes in the way of fixation of time continuum in the technological world - are presented in the bits and pieces of multiple interviews the artist took with people of different professions as well as various socio-cultural and national backgrounds.

Anna Titovets Intektra (b. 1983, Moscow) is a media and video artist, curator, and researcher of digital culture. She works primarily with audiovisual and mixed-media installations. The artist’s scope of interests lies mainly in the exploration and critical investigation of the influence of technologies on society and human psychology. She participated in a range of exhibitions and festivals in Russia and abroad.

Dmitry Vihornov (b. 1977). Composer and sound producer. Dmitry is the author of the music for many films and theater plays. Besides that he produces sound design installations for museums and creative projects.

Byrke Lou

CODE / .ctu_isbtm

The work CODE_xi{isbtm} is a curated selection from Byrke Lou’s work complexes ctu_isbtm and CODE_xi.

ctu_isbtm is a work complex exploring how we try to capture ephemeral processes for observation, analysis and evidence production. It captures a process which plays a key role in the formation of celestial objects and places them in the gallery space.

CODE_xi translates these object into sounds, applying ambient sounds as the layer the objects get inscribed into. The resulting language of pitches and rhythms creates a complex interplay of dimension, information and time that simultaneously embraces and reveals processes of coding, encoding and decoding.

Byrke Lou (1986, Berlin) — physicist and artist creates works which examine the cultural embedding of natural sciences research and emerging technologies. Her objects, installations, performances, and compositions reflect on scientific methods and the construction and impact of new technologies. She looks at displacements which happen when we translate concepts between systems.

Aebersold & Handberg

Local Authority

“Local Authority was originally conceived as a site specific installation for the old Stadtschreiber (something like a city clerk) room in Kunsthaus Langenthal (CH). The piece reacts on the previous context of this room, a place where authority was exercised out onto the town but also where the townspeople would come to have authority exercised upon or for them. In this sense the installation becomes a reflection of the interaction between authority, people and the city itself as a living organism.

The light changes the movements of the water, the movement of the water changes the reflec- tion of the light and our perspective on the light change what part of the water we see moving.

In a different context, outside of the room the piece was conceived for, Local Authority also comes to be literally that, a “local authority” where the installation itself takes over both the light situation as well as the acoustics in the room it is situated in. As with any authority it is unclear if the agency belongs to; the people behind the authority, the thing it is exercising authority over, or itself.

The duo Aebersold x Handberg (Markus Aebersold *1988 (CH) & Chris Handberg *1989 (DK)) met at the Art Institute Basel during their Bachelor studies. They have been working together since their graduation in 2017 and have since then been nominated for the Swiss Emerging Artist Prize while showing their works in several international exhibitions. Using light and sound to erase the border between object and architecture, subject and surrounding, the two artists specialize in immersive installations while challenging our way of perception.

Lucas Gutierrez


HEADS. 2018

“Trough infinite – digital – ways of visualization, I feel always exposed to the most basic process of waiting. There are no loading bars in this rendered reality and there is always a machine that needs some time to complete the tasks I want.”

Lucas Gutierrez‘ pieces are technically linked to delivery delays, their failed industrial process and techniques used for production. From CGI (Computer-generated imagery) to the manufacture itself, those objects have been affected by the interruption of the production and some of them have no longer the chance to be reproduce again.


The looped 15 minute video work focuses on dealing with the everyday phenomenon of narcissism, as well as the pathological excesses of an exaggerated self-awareness. Inspired by their personal environment in the „creative industry“ as well as the changes caused by handling of new technologies and social media and their feedback on the social behavior are integrated in this video work. Disturbances of proximity and distance, in- and outside world, Me and You are rejected in the work through disturbances of the narrative elements, the image, through absurd turns and instructions. Disturbances of the visual habits and perception will reject and encourage the visitors of the installation to re ect on theirselves. The video work is not pursuing a documentary or moralizing intention.

Lucas Gutierrez (Argentina) is a digital artist and industrial designer based in Berlin. He has been engaged in various disciplines, from lectures, workshops and audiovisual performances to video art projects focused on the new paradigms of digital culture. Deeply involved in the remix culture and real time AV session projects in which he blends influences of different contexts – from post-work anthropology to the abstract quotes from 3D modeling for industrial design.

His narrative is often quoting current social fears and dystopias, but mostly using the language of colorful, chaotic metaphysics. His most recent talks and performances were in Sonar+D and MUTEK (Argentina/Mexico), ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, NYU Berlin, exhibitions at The New Infinity | Berliner Festspiele | Immersion, XS Gallery (Poland), Aperto Raum and CTM / transmediale (Berlin, Germany).

Within the last years, Lucas gave lectures at UdK – Universität der Künste Berlin and Kunsthochschule Weißensee in the fields of real-time visualization, spatial motion graphics and visuals.

Experimental short film about digital narcissism by Lucas Gutierrez x Schall & Schnabel.

Narcissism is the thematic superstructure of the video installation, presented as a collaboration between the audio visual artist Lucas Gutierrez and the multimedia artist duo Schall & Schnabel.

Sergey Kostyrko

Maggot Cheese

Nowadays, a number of bio-inspired computational techniques such as artificial neural networks, genetic and evolutionary algorithms are applied in many engineering systems for information processing. One of the current trends in this field is swarm intelligence which is simulated by the behavior of insect colonies or group of animals to solve nonlinear design problems. In this model systems, the individuals of a particular population interact with one another resulting in use of their environment and resources. Each in the group is responsible for a specific task individually, and sometimes they work together to find an optimal solution of a given task.

Common applications include navigation control, interferometry, motion sensing and image processing. There are numerous examples of using swarm algorithms in music composition. However, it must be understood that the computational models of natural phenomena are only mathematical abstractions and lose in complexity presented in the original systems. In this work, another approach is suggested where the artificial agents are replaced by biological ones. The behavior of maggot swarm is analysed in real-time trough computer vision algorithms, after that the obtained data is used to control an algorithmic musical composition.

Sergey Kostyrko is an associate professor at St. Petersburg State University, working in the field of solid mechanics. Since 2018, he is a member of the Global Young Academy. With Ilya Belorukov and Konstantin Samolovov, he curated the cassette label Spina! Rec between 2013 and 2017, taking an active part in St. Petersburg experimental/improvisational scene. Currently, Kostyrko is a member of the international platform ArtSci Nexus, which unites artists and scientists from different countries. Here, his main interest is represented by sound art projects, which are based on work with data obtained during biological experiments. One of these works, related to the sonification of the activity of an artificially grown biological neural network, was published on The Cyland Audio Archive in February 2019.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik x Low Jack


Single channel video installation with sound, Full HD, 16:9, 08:28; Amazon Echo and Google home devices, screen, loud speakers and cables; printed 12” EP sleeve, print on acrylic glas, download code. Dimensions variable. Intelligent Personal Assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Siri are the brains of the smart home ecosystem. They operate, monitor and control smart home appliances while keeping the algorithms and rule-sets that determine their workings secret. Intelligent Personal Devices are voice controlled, thus dissolving the machinic presence of the computer while placing its functionalities at the users disposal. It's like living inside the machine, while at the same time having no agency over the composition and structure of ones environment. What are the relationships that we are forming with these IPA devices? What happens when IoT devices are hacked to form rogue bot-networks? Is my capacity to act expanded or diminished when relying on these semi-autonomous devices?

Together with French musician Low Jack, !Mediengruppe Bitnik have been looking at ways to engage with Alexa and similar 'Intelligent' Personal Assistants through music. A set of three songs attempt to capture the feelings we develop toward Intelligent Personal Assistants: The carefree love that embraces Alexa before the data privacy and surveillance issues outweigh the benefits. The alienation and decoupling/uncoupling from the allure of remote control and instant gratification. The anxiety and discomfort around Alexa and other Intelligent Personal Assistants that is Alexiety.

Roman Golovko

С — A — G — E

The basis of the work is the moment of coincidence of 4 notes and the correspondence of the designation of their letter notation to the 4 letters of the Latin alphabet forming the word C A G E. By sequentially playing 4 notes clockwise, the corresponding note begins to sound in each speaker system. Accelerating gradually, changing the duration and gaining pace, the sounds coincide in a four-sounding simultaneously sounding chord of 4 notes (Do — La — Sol — Mi), a massive sound canvas is created, thereby pronouncing the word C — A — G — E and a situation arises collective artistic communication.

C = note Do — A = note La — G = note Sol — E = note Mi

Definition of the word CAGE in the context of a project:

— a space surrounded on all sides by gratings or wire;

— a structurally functional elementary unit of the structure and vital activity of all organisms, has its own metabolism, is capable of self-reproduction;

— Cage, John (1912–1982) — American composer, philosopher, poet, musicologist, artist. A pioneer in the field of sound art, aleatorics, electronic music and the non-standard use of musical instruments. One of the most influential avant-garde composers of the XX century.

Roman Golovko (b. 1977, Moscow) — Interdisciplinary artist, sound-artist and experimental musician. Focused on sound sculpture and spatial installations, improvised electro-acoustic music, sound-art performances, experiments with sound deformation and deconstruction, concrete music and field recordings. He works intensively in the transitional field between music and art. Often in his work uses random and self-organizing structures, errors, as well as patterns and codes. His installations have a minimalist and reductionist aesthetics, often contain a sound component and tend to overcome the separation of human sensory perception, creating perception mechanisms for both eyes and ears.

Participant of many exhibitions and festivals in Russia and Europe. Sound-art installation, art objects and performances has been exhibited in places such as Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Alexandrinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg), New Space Theatre of Nations (Moscow), Theatre Center for Drama and Directing (Moscow), QuartaRiata Residency of Arts & Technology (St. Petersburg - Peterhof), Central Exhibition Hall Manege (Moscow), Electrotheatre Stanislavsky (Moscow), Contemporary Art Center Winzavod (Moscow), PAS art-gallerу (Berlin, Germany), Musikerwohnhaus (Basel, Switzerland).

Mikhail Myasoedov


A reflection on using technology to manage attention spanќћ®† њѓѕў‘“∆…∆љљ ° ≤ ™~≤™~ Psychiatrist's Workbook. Handbook for students in mathematics ћ÷©µ}и™ °~љ≤€®∞{ИЊµИ Њ®≠ ∞Ћ÷∞÷Ѓ …∆… It’s been ten years since my first trip to¶∞≈“‘˚πµ. My task as •®∂≥Ó ±Ò∏Í´„ÅÔ was to observe. But I felt that the population had drastically changed. There were fewer doughnuts and more lemons. Otherwise it was the same, except for the advent of computers and TV sets. Why did modern people need that, I ®Ω≈¥¥∂љљ…∆……ЅЊЌ®Ы, but I still decided to change something.

Mikhail Myasoyedov (b. 1983, Rostov-on-Don) is a composer and an artist. He works with spatial sound compositions of natural and artificial origin. The artist investigates the effects of sound environments on perception, using both pure sound objects and complex systems that include algorithmic and stochastic audiovisual elements.

Public Program 2021 • EMA Expo 2021 will host a public program "Are we building a new world together?"

The invited artists and experts reflect on the relationship with technology, addressing dreams, problems, utopias and fears associated with the state of transition to a “new world”, where technology is inseparable from society and people's everyday life. What is this “new world”, how truly “new” is it, and how are the various tactics of interaction between the artistic world and technologies, institutions and society being built and to what?
Panel discussion #1
Are we building the next world together?

24.04 / 16:00-17:30

Social changes and activism through technological art: potential and impotence.

Alexey Shulgin
Egor Craft
Sasha Serechenko
Katya Pryanik
!Mediengruppe Bitnik
Helena Nikonole
Valentin Fetisov

Moderator: Anna Titovets

Lecture #1

24.04 / 19:00-20:00

Digital Art and Activism — Interventions Beyond Representation

Boris Magrini


25.04 / 15:00-17:00

Topic: media literacy

By Goethe-Institut Moskau

Curatorial tour #1

28.04 / 19:00

watch the video

Exhibition tour /w the curator of the project Gleb Glonti

Artist Talk #1

08.05 / 18:00-19:00

watch the video

High digital emotions: Walking forever as avatars

Lucas Gutierrez
Peter Kirn

Exhibition tour #2

12.05 / 19:00

watch the video

Tour /w the composer Vladimir Gorlinsky

Voloko Gorlinsky
Gleb Glonti

Panel discussion #2
Are we building the next world together?

15.05 / 16:00-18:00

DIY vs. Instituions in the art world
(and more specifically media art scene)

Yaroslav Aleshin
Anastasia Dmitrievskaya
Oleg Khadartsev
Daria Iuriichuk
Gleb Glonti
Moderators: Anna Zhurba, Sergey Babkin

Artist Talk #2

15.05 / 18:00-19:00

Conversation /w Markus Aebersold & Chris Handberg

Boris Magrini
Markus Aebersold
Chris Handberg

Film screening
Q&A /w the director

15.05 / 20:00-22:30


Hi, AI — dir. Isa Willinger

Supported by
Goethe-Institut Moskau

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